Zen Harp – #2

A couple of days ago, I had the most relaxing and enjoyable harp practice I’ve had in some time. The old pieces seemed to flow out of my fingers without effort on my part. The chunks of the new pieces I’d set out to learn that day got into my fingers quickly, and by the 20th repetition actually sounded like music, not disconnected notes.

That morning, I’d joined a friend to play recorder duets of Christmas carols in the lobby of a local hospital. The carol arrangements were beautiful, we sounded lovely, peoples’ faces lit up as they turned the corner and saw and heard us playing, and I had a wonderful time making music with my friend.

After the gig, I visited another friend. We shared an hour of heartfelt conversation and laughter, and I left feeling relaxed and filled up with warmth and connection. Then I went home and had my wonderful practice session.

Today I realize that I cannot suddenly expect to have ease and fluidity at the harp if I am neither creating and experiencing ease and fluidity in the rest of my life, nor creating ease and fluidity within myself. Ease and fluidity at the harp won’t appear out of nowhere. All the technical harp skills can help the playing be more fluid, but the player has to know and be in touch with that internal state where ease and fluidity and suppleness exists.

Making music with one friend and conversing with another blessed me with a day of beauty, connection, and quiet joy. All of which translated into the ease and fluidity at my harp that most days I can only long for, and for which I am so very grateful today.

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